Sir Roger Moore, who we sadly lost recently, was one of the most popular actors of his generation, playing iconic characters from Ivanhoe to The Saint, and the ultimate screen hero, James Bond.
I was lucky enough to meet and become friends with the actor while filming in London last year. Of all the stars and picture exclusives that we have featured here in The Press, he has commanded the most attention with questions such as “He is so dishy Ann, you’re so lucky to meet him, what was he like?” Well, he was a gentleman and a truly great person who entertained so many for so many years. He let slip while taking coffee in the studio green room that “Ann if I were still Bond, you would be my next Bond girl.” A moment that any girl would cherish, and especially from Sir Roger Moore. I say this for many, dearest Roger, we really will miss you.
Silent Witness actress Emilia Fox, who plays a forensic analyst in the BBC series, admits to me she would actually be useless in the job in real life. “I am fascinated by it all truly, but as a career, no way. You would be amazed at how many people believe I actually do the job, which is good for my acting skills...”
Anton du Beke may have lost out on the head judge’s job on Strictly Come Dancing, but a friend tells me that he plans to bide his time. “I think he wonders if the new judge will in fact be a success, plus if he quits he won’t be there to land the job should it become vacant again, so you can see his point,” I heard.
Universal Pictures have confirmed that there will be a new Johnny English film. The distributor has provisionally scheduled a UK release date of October 2018 for Johnny English 3. Rowan Atkinson will return to star as the hapless British secret agent in the new film, after a break of more than six years, following 2003’s Johnny English and 2011’s Johnny English Reborn.
Lee Ryan is to become a regular on EastEnders, after bosses liked his performance as stand-in bar manager Woody. Lee, who found fame with the boy band Blue, tells me: “I am very happy with the result and the reaction my character has been given. Hopefully now people will also see me not just as a singer but as an actor too.”
Poldark star Aidan Turner has said his accent in the TV show is ‘not always on point’, making it difficult for him to watch it. The Irish actor has played Cornish captain Ross Poldark in the BBC period drama since 2015, and will soon return to screens for the third series. He said: “I always have a cringe moment, but I don’t think fans notice too much, well no-one has actually said, so I guess not.”
Strictly Come Dancing finalist Danny Mac is to star as Joe Gillis in the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard. Danny tells me: “I have so much to thank the show for, because once people could see I could dance then these opportunities have just kept on coming, which is amazing to me.”
The King’s Speech actor Colin Firth has applied for Italian citizenship. Colin, who found fame on Pride and Prejudice on the BBC, denies he has quit his own country because of Brexit, but it’s because he has an Italian wife and family that now requires a duel passport, and he has no intention of leaving England for good.
Coronation Street’s Sally Dynevor says that after almost 30 years on the soap, she has no plans to leave, and no desire to play another character. “I think it’s hard when you’re in a soap, because part of you does become them, and vice versa, but I have one of the best jobs in the world, so why would I want to leave the safety of this?” she said.
X Factor winner Joe McElderry revealed that he will be releasing his first album in five years on July 14. Saturday Night At The Movies is inspired by Joe’s love for film and theatre and will feature newly-orchestrated recordings of iconic hits such as ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ from Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii.
Nicole Scherzinger is hoping that her new role in a TV adaptation of Dirty Dancing will help her break into film. The X Factor judge says she wants to have a go at lots of things and loves the idea of finally becoming a movie star. “I was born in the wrong era, I would have loved to be a Hollywood star way back in the 40s and 50s, so you never know,” she said.
Comedian Vic Reeves will make his life “complete” when he appears on Coronation Street. Best known for his comedy partnership with Bob Mortimer, he will film a three-month run on the show starting in July, and audiences can expect to see him on screen from the end of the summer. Reeves will play a television presenter who comes to Weatherfield to film with characters Norris Cole and Mary Taylor, after they are chosen to appear on his show.
George Gently star Martin Shaw tells me that he is not retiring, despite rumours surrounding his future. He said: “I think when you finish a series as well received as that, and my age, people assume that is it. But I am looking at various things right now and not sure what direction I want to go in yet, but no I am not retiring for sure.”
Elaine Paige has admitted that she and long-term collaborator Barbara Dickson have ‘drifted apart’. Both enjoyed a massive number one way back in the 80s with ‘I Know Him So Well’, but Elaine told me at a showbiz party: “It’s terrible really as I have lost touch with her, and yet we were so close. I would love to team up with her again as we had such a huge success with it all.”